Nursing Schools Nationwide Lack Resources, Turn Away Potential Students
As hospitals nationwide face a growing nursing shortage, colleges and universities are being forced to turn away thousands of qualified nursing students because of a lack of space and funding, the AP/New York Times reports. According to a survey conducted by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing last year, nursing schools rejected almost 6,000 "qualified" applicants. Many schools are turning away nursing candidates because the facilities lack faculty to teach the necessary classes. Many schools are losing nursing faculty to retirement; the average age of nursing faculty is 51. In addition, many schools rely on state funding to expand their programs, but with most states facing severe budget deficits, additional funding is unlikely. Further, many states have mandated a 12-to-one student-to-teacher ratio, eliminating larger classes as an option. Dorothy Detlor, dean of Washington State University's College of Nursing, which yearly turns away two-thirds of qualified applicants, said, "Some of [the nursing school applicants] will reapply. ... A significant pool will be lost to nursing. It's a serious problem across the country." Johnie Mozingo, associate dean of academic affairs at the University of Tennessee College of Nursing, said teaching positions "are just not able to compete" with jobs in hospitals and clinics because salaries are being driven up by the nationwide nursing shortage, which is expected to grow to 800,000 nurses by 2020, according to HHS projections (AP/New York Times, 12/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.